Local vets brace themselves for a weekend of cold weather camping

The annual 'Freezin for a reason' event serves as a way to raise money for local veteran organizations, as well as awareness on issues they face after service.

An FM Legion Rider delivering bedrolls to a tent where his fellow riders will spend the night Friday, Feb. 3, 2023.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News

MOORHEAD — Local veterans are getting ready for a chilly weekend. Around 10 members of the FM Legion Riders will camp out Saturday and Sunday night, Feb. 4 and 5, — in two, 22-hour shifts — behind the Moorhead American Legion Post 21.

"We stay out in the tent to signify the numbness of being homeless," said Doug Dietrich, FM Legion Rider's executive director. "Especially in our area, with our conditions."

Each of the 22 hours is meant to pay tribute to the 22 American veterans that take their own life every single day.

"That's what the legion riders are all about," Dietrich said. "Helping out our area veterans."

Dietrich says riders dealt with subzero temperatures over the last two years of holding the annual event, so warmer weather this year should make the camp out a piece of cake.


"We're kind of blessed this year," he said. "We're getting a little warm, and the wind (is) still out there, but all things considered, it's a lot better."

They'll also be fundraising inside the American Legion with a silent auction all weekend. On Saturday, they'll start the day with a soup cook-off at noon, with prizes handed out for first, second, and third-place winners. They'll hold a cornhole tournament at 2 p.m., and karaoke starts at 7 p.m.

A Sunday breakfast will be provided from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Money raised by the silent auction and freewill donations will be split between the FM Legion Riders and Golden Drive Homeless Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of the homeless crisis children in the community are experiencing.

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